Need Advice Plz Help!

  1. Hello fellow school nurses,

    Just joined all nurses a few minutes ago and I heard that you guys give good advice. Well I need it! This is my 2nd year as a school nurse. In my district, there is 5 different schools 4 elementary schools K-8 and a high school. Last year I worked at one of the elementary schools and now I'm at one of the other elementary schools. So from the first day, I have been having issues with the Office Supervisor/secretary. She has been going over my head against my judgement. Example: First grader came in not feeling well. They didn't send her to me they, meaning her and the Assistant Principle, took it upon themselves and called her dad which is a teacher here at the school. So they had the child to come in the clinic, in which I'm sitting right at the door where you come in at, to lay down. Still no one said anything to me. So the child laid down and as soon as her head hit the pillow she was out. I took it upon myself and took her temperature and her temperature was 102.5...I'm like wow. So I politely said to both the Assistant Principle and Secretary if any child comes in sick could they plz send them to me because that's what I'm here for. The secretary said oh we just not use to having a nurse...okay...Another incident happen today I sent a student home last Friday not feeling well. Student back today which is Tuesday not feeling well states he has strep. Spoke to mom she states I told the SECRETARY Friday because he gave it to his brother and her. Nobody thought to let the nurse know so i can send out exposure notices. Spoke with the SECRETARY she said yeah she told me but I don't think Strep is a big deal and the only way you can get strep if you share utensils. But really....Have any of you school nurses have problems with the secretary or staff. I want to send a email about how important it is to report illness and etc..any advise is greatly appreciated sorry for the long rant!!
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  2. 24 Comments

  3. by   WineRN
    First Welcome to the group!

    Second, I am so sorry you are in the situation you are in.

    I would try to have a meeting with your principal and assistant principal to establish protocols for who/what gets sent to the NURSE. I would reinforce that you understand that they didn't have a nurse before but now that you are here, YOU are the medical professional in the building. You might to reach out to the teaching staff there too because they may be used to just sending everyone to the office instead of the nurse.
  4. by   MrsNurse08
    Quote from WineRN
    First Welcome to the group!

    Second, I am so sorry you are in the situation you are in.

    I would try to have a meeting with your principal and assistant principal to establish protocols for who/what gets sent to the NURSE. I would reinforce that you understand that they didn't have a nurse before but now that you are here, YOU are the medical professional in the building. You might to reach out to the teaching staff there too because they may be used to just sending everyone to the office instead of the nurse.
    Thank you so much!
    I will be meeting with the principal and Assistant Principal and another thing that got me was I asked the Assistant Principle about using my nursing judgement on whether a student should go home or if my nursing judgement tells me they are ok she said that my nursing judgement don't matter it's up to the parents
  5. by   Rubor
    Quote from MrsNurse08
    Thank you so much!
    I will be meeting with the principal and Assistant Principal and another thing that got me was I asked the Assistant Principle about using my nursing judgement on whether a student should go home or if my nursing judgement tells me they are ok she said that my nursing judgement don't matter it's up to the parents
    Wow. Real supportive. Let us know how it goes. The meeting is definitely the first step. What about your districts policies/guidelines. Can you take it from that angle?
  6. by   MrsNurse08
    Quote from Rubor
    Wow. Real supportive. Let us know how it goes. The meeting is definitely the first step. What about your districts policies/guidelines. Can you take it from that angle?
    I thought the same thing wow...I'm looking into getting the district policies/guidelines. I'm curious to see what the district is saying about using my "nursing judgement" makes me wonder why I'm here and anybody can come in and do this job.
  7. by   MrsNurse08
    I have came to realize from working in this school district that the staff and district or so afraid of the parents that they only care about keeping the parents happy and not the well being of the students
  8. by   halohg
    Welcome, you will find much support and understanding here. You are not alone with this type of experiences. The kids in the younger school are rarely the real challenge, that is left for admins, teachers and parents. It's a delicate juggling match all the time. You simply will not be respected as you were a custom to in a hospital type setting. You will forever be second guessed and gone around. Have thick skin and remember you are there for the children and let the drama stay outside your office. Try and set guidelines and look for admin support and in some cases that relationship is possible. You never have to prove yourself, however everyone but you will assume they know better. Stay true to yourself, try and not sweat the small stuff and try not to take it personal, it's just the culture in most schools especially the elementary age group. It does get better with time, I promise.
  9. by   ruby_jane
    Quote from MrsNurse08
    I have came to realize from working in this school district that the staff and district or so afraid of the parents that they only care about keeping the parents happy and not the well being of the students
    Yup! Welcome to school nursing! When I was a new school nurse, I used to point out that students could absence fail even with excused absences...because you still have to attend 75% of the class time, even if mom or dad signs you out three times a week. That was not met with appreciation, so I stopped doing it. I cannot care more than the parent does.

    Having said that, the end run around you is going to cause liability for the school. Say it that way. When a secretary decides something without sending the kid to you, and something bad happens, the school is liable for that. Good luck! It's frequently pointed out here that sometimes it takes a real emergency for your school to value what you do.
  10. by   MrNurse(x2)
    Welcome! This is the best group on AN. I was in the same situation when I started. I have found the K & 1st grade teachers are really good at spotting illness, I give them a pass if they say a student needs to go home. The fact that one was a staff student means they wanted that teacher to stay and not have to take the student home. The strep, now that's scary. The meeting is really the first step. I had a few major injuries the first few months that validated my worth. I don't wish that on you, but something is probably going to happen to do the same thing for you. That will be your turn around moment. Good luck and hang in there.
  11. by   Amethya
    Don't worry you're not the only one.

    I'm currently having some issues with my secretary, she tends to like to do my job sometimes and fix my room for me, because it's not up to par to her standards.

    I already reported her to the principal that while I understand she can help me when I'm at a lunch, my decision is my decision.

    I had a student who threw up, no fever or anything. Didn't throw up in my office for 15 mins, informed father. Father said she can stay in class, if anything changed, I would let him know. The kid went back to class.

    The secretaries were freaking out and asking me why I sent her back and I explained because she's fine. Our handbook says that the throwing up has to be illness-related to be considered them going to home. The child only threw up once and was fine after that. They called the dad and told him to come get her, without my knowledge. I got a call from him asking me if I called him, I said no. I told him she's fine if she hasn't complained the whole day.

    I was livid and I told my principal on this that I'm tired about how the teachers talk about me in school if there's something they're not happy about, instead of being open with communication and that the secretary is trying to do my job and go over my decisions.

    The only thing to do is talk to the principal about this and try to talk to them civilly to see if there's a way you guys can work something out.
  12. by   NutmeggeRN
    Quote from MrsNurse08
    Thank you so much!
    I will be meeting with the principal and Assistant Principal and another thing that got me was I asked the Assistant Principle about using my nursing judgement on whether a student should go home or if my nursing judgement tells me they are ok she said that my nursing judgement don't matter it's up to the parents
    I would acknowledge that the parents do in fact have the final say. That said, I would point out the liability to the district when somethibng is done that is not in the best interest of the child (sitting with a high fever). that situation could have been addressed ASAp and thechild removed form exposing other kids...or the flip side, kids sitting in your office and/or leaving and missing valuable seat time!!. That always helps. Not every kid needs to go home and we are here to porivide interventions that support their access to education.
    You will always lose the battle with the parents, but you can prevail in your building.
  13. by   WineRN
    Quote from ruby_jane
    I cannot care more than the parent does.

    Having said that, the end run around you is going to cause liability for the school. Say it that way. When a secretary decides something without sending the kid to you, and something bad happens, the school is liable for that. Good luck! It's frequently pointed out here that sometimes it takes a real emergency for your school to value what you do.
    As a newbie I still struggle with caring more than some of my parents do. And I agree 100% that when there is a real medical emergency, all of a sudden you are the most valuable person to everyone there
  14. by   nursetlm
    Exposure notices for strep throat? We do not do that.

    I have K-3 grades and we send home for one episode of vomiting. (unless has a cough/cold and it's due to gagging.) But my kiddos are younger with poor handwashing skills.

    I'm glad you are communicating to let them know your place in the school. I fought with my front office staff the first year I was here, but the second and now third years have been smooth sailing for the most part.

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